Kathy DePhillips

Red-Bellied Woodpecker Gets His Close-Up

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May 072014



This is one of our red-bellied woodpeckers.

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak Visits The Birdfeeder

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Apr 302014


This is the first Rose-Breasted Grosbeak we have had visit the feeder this year.

Great Christmas Gifts For The Bird Watcher On Your List

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Nov 192012

Are you hunting a Christmas present for that hard-to-buy-for person? Here are a few great gift ideas for either the casual backyard bird watcher or the avid birdwatcher on your list.

For the casual backyard birders there are feeders, binoculars, bird seed, bird seed wreaths and ornaments, decorative banners with bird themes. And, for those avid birdwatchers there are binoculars, birding scopes, cameras and all kinds of accessories. A membership in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology or your local Audubon Society are other neat Christmas gifts that last all year for the bird watcher.

A pair of binoculars makes a wonderful gift. They will give that special person on your Christmas list hours and hours of entertainment watching birds. Binoculars can start anywhere from under $30 into the thousands of dollars. The choice and price of the binoculars will depend on how and under what conditions the bird watcher will be using the binoculars. For tips on choosing the right binoculars visit: Easy Steps to Choosing the Right Bird Watching Binoculars. An avid birdwatcher may even want a field scope and tripod.

A new bird feeder is a wonderful present for both the birdwatcher as well as the birds. Winter feeding is important for the birds, too. There are many different new-fangled bird feeders that attract different birds to the yard. Your present will provide lots of enjoyment while watching birds coming to the new feeder.

There are bird seed ornaments, gadgets and many decorations which make cute presents. And, a birder will never turn away a big bag of black oil sunflower seeds.

Cameras make a nice and useful Christmas present. Just like binoculars, the type of camera needed is determined by how and where the birdwatcher uses the camera. The casual backyard birdwatcher may only want a minimal zoom lens and everything automatic on the camera. While the avid birder will want a camera that has all the bells and whistles on it.

There are so many neat, fun and useful presents that can be given to the birdwatchers on your list. I’m sure they will love the present, get much joy out of it and say, “This is just what I wanted”.

Visit Your Bird Feeder Store for a few ideas.

The 2012 Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Migration Whispers Early Spring

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Mar 222012

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

Check out these “early birds”!  The ruby-thoated hummingbirds are letting us know that spring really is here. It was March 25th last year that I reported that the hummingbirds were spotted in Ohio for the first time. Take a look at the difference on the Hummingbird Map. This year the first ruby-throated hummingbirds were picked up in Ohio on March 19,  2012. That is almost a full week before they arrived in 2011.  The ruby-thoated hummingbirds as of March 20th and 21st are as far north as the Great Lakes, northern Illinois into Wisconsin and into the central part of New York. It really is going to be an early spring and what a nice gift to have your hummers returning to your area sooner.

After spending the winter in Central America and Mexico, the migration of the ruby-throated hummingbirds takes about two or three months to complete. The males lead the way with the females following about one and a half weeks behind.

Here are a few interesting and amazing facts about the ruby-throated hummingbirds. These little hovering birds often fly upside down and backwards. They flap their wings around 53 times a second. This hummingbird species is the only one that breeds in the eastern part of North America.

The 2012 ruby-throated hummingbird migration has begun, get your hummingbird feeders out and filled up. The little guys are here early and they are hungry—they had a very long journey. I put my hummingbird feeder out yesterday and am waiting for the first ones  to pass through here or, better still,  for my hummers to be back for the summer. They remember where the feeders were last year so keep them in the same place.

The Great Backyard Bird Count For 2012

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Feb 162012

Counting Birds

The annual Great Backyard Bird Count is taking place on Friday, February 17th through Monday, February 20th, 2012. What is the GBBC, how can I participate and why count birds?

What is the GBBC? The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual bird counting event conducted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the National Audubon Society and Bird Studies Canada. People of all ages take part in this event to count birds in their area. You can count birds in your backyard, at your bird feeder, in the park or any other place in your area. This 4-day event has bird watchers counting birds for as little as 15 minutes a day or as long as you like each day.

How can I participate in the 2012 Great Backyard Bird Count? It’s easy to become part of the 2012 GBBC! Count birds in your area for at least 15 minutes or longer if you want. You can count birds one, two, three or all four of the days. Count the number of each species that you see together at one time. There is a regional checklist that you can print out to help you keep track of the birds and numbers. Then enter the highest number of the individual species that you have counted at one time for that day. Find the information at: http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/whycount.html. That is how simple it is to be part of the 2012 Great Backyard Bird Count. It is so much fun to count birds and is so helpful to the organizations involved.

Why count birds? The Great Backyard Bird Count gives scientists and bird enthusiasts a real-time picture of the birds across the continent. The count allows the researchers to have this important information in a short period of time. It would take scientists and research teams months and years to collect this much valuable information that will be presented in these 4 days. The data gathered will show scientists things like: how winter influences the population of birds, different migration patterns compared to previous years, if different regions are affected by bird diseases, the variety of birds that live in the different areas (rural, suburban and natural habitats) and many other factors.

The Great Backyard Bird Count website will be tallying the birds as they are reported, comparing them with last year’s statistics and have a photo gallery for new pictures that people can send in. The 2012 GBBC will be a fun event, give the scientists the much needed statistics and the great thing is that everyone can be a part of it. Have a Great Backyard Bird Count for 2012!